If you’ve been on social media today, you have likely seen your timeline filled with cuddly dogs, cats and other animal friends shared with the hashtag #LoveYourPetsDay. That’s the most popular tag people are using for National Love Your Pet Day. Sure, there seems to be a new wacky “National Holiday” all the time, but this is one we could really get behind.

Today, let’s use #LoveYourPetsDay as an excuse to talk about water safety tips for your animals. After all, drowning danger can strike at any time, any place and anyone… that includes our pets!

What is #LoveYourPetsDay?

Every year, on February 20th, pet owners join together to observe National Love Your Pet Day. You can read all about it on the always interesting National Day Calendar website.

In a nutshell, this day is dedicated to paying some extra attention to our furry friends. After all, most households in the United States have at least one pet. According to the National Day website, more households have dogs than cats, but it’s a pretty close race.

To boot, anyone paying attention to the #LoveYourPetsDay hashtag probably saw a lot of different pets besides cats and dogs. Birds, reptiles, fish… even apes and toads! A massive swathe of the animal kingdom was represented today. No matter what, paying extra attention to your animal buddies can help them to relieve stress and lower their blood pressure.

Love Your Pets with These Handy Water Safety Tips

Far too many people believe that pets are natural swimmers. Speaking of the most common pets, cats and dogs, this is not always true. The absolute best way to celebrate #LoveYourPetsDay is to get in the habit of treating them like our children.

Active Supervision is Always Important

Just like a small child, a pet needs active supervision when entering the water. Looking away or becoming distracted for a few moments can spell disaster. You should stay close to your pet at all times and be ready to spring into action.

Swimming Lessons for Dogs

When it comes to dogs, did you realize that there are swimming lessons available for our canine friends? It’s true! Even though a dog will often attempt to tread water, it may not quite understand what they are doing. Proper swimming lessons can train your pet to use the steps for entering and exiting the pool. Without this crucial training, the dog can panic, become exhausted and drown. If your pool doesn’t have stairs, you must swim with them in the pool. This also goes for older dogs, who may require a special life jacket to stay afloat.

Either way, think of how cool that photo of you swimming with your pup will look on #LoveYourPetsDay!

Beware of Pet Doors

We’ve written about the dangers of installing a dog door before. When it comes to water safety, you’ll want to block or remove a pet door. These flaps provide free access to the potentially deadly pool in your backyard. As you can probably imagine after reading the last two tips, this can be rather dangerous.

Install a Pool Alarm 

Obviously, no one can watch their pool 24 hours a day. Fortunately, technology can lend a helping hand here. If you own a pool, consider installing a pool alarm. These alarms will alert you if your pet (or a child or anyone) has fallen into your swimming pool.

Pool Fence to the Pet Rescue

When it comes to pool safety, we obviously love pool fences. Though these are most often purchased to protect children from drowning danger, they are also quite useful for pets. A 30-inch pool fence is perfect for anyone with small to medium-sized pets. This fence is at the perfect height that allows for adults to keep a physical barrier between the pool and your four-legged loved ones. If your dog is larger than average, consider installing a taller fence. The ultimate goal is that the animal should not be able to jump over the barrier.

These are just a few safety tips to help you celebrate #LoveYourPetsDay and keep your animals a bit safer when it comes to water danger.